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Nikkei reverses losses to hit 2-week high, pension fund bids cited

TOKYO, March 27 (Reuters) - Japanese shares surged to a two-week closing high on Thursday, with market players citing reinvestment by a public pension fund and short-covering in futures as factors behind the sharp reversal from early losses.

The Nikkei share average rose 1.0 percent to 14,622.89 points, despite the negative impact from many shares going ex-dividend, which market players estimate should have knocked about 0.7 percent off the Nikkei.

Buying thought to be from a public pension fund reinvesting dividend income as well as big short-covering in futures helped the market reverse early losses, market players said.

The Nikkei tumbled in the morning on concerns about the Ukraine crisis, though its four-month low just under 14,000 hit in early February was seen as strong support.

The broader Topix rose 0.4 percent to 1,176.90 with 2.58 billion shares changing hands, slightly above its average in the last 100 sessions. The news JPX-Nikkei Index 400 also rose 0.4 percent to 10,655.32 (Reporting by Tomo Uetake and Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Kim Coghill)